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Abstract

In "Originally from Dorchester," her portrait of a neighborhood that wrestled — and continues to wrestle — with problems of race, ethnicity, cultural values, economic development, and mobility, Kathleen Kilgore captures the nuances of the small gesture, whether of defiance or gentility, that reveal the underside of social conflict more eloquently than databases or court findings. "The neighborhood," Kilgore writes, "weakened and aged, and forcibly resisted change." But it then began to adapt, the influx of the young and the upwardly mobile providing a lifeline that facilitated a process of renewal and accommodation, in which, in the best sense, diversity became the hallmark of opportunity, enriching rather than diminishing, and community and cooperation developed into an antidote to social competition and class/racial conflict. Uneasy truces can develop into accommodations of self-interest.

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